Q&A with Board Member Edward Simon

August 12, 20223 Minutes

The CalAsian Chamber is excited to welcome Ed Simon to our Board. Ed Simon is the Director of Business Performance and Supplier Diversity at California American Water, where he also serves on the Board of Directors as the Inclusion and Diversity Officer. In this role, Ed leads California and Hawaii’s inclusion, diversity, and equity efforts. Ed shared some career insight and his goals as a new CalAsian Board Member.

Tell me more about your role at California American Water and what drives you.

I am California American Water’s Inclusion and Diversity Officer. Here, I have several key roles. First is helping small diverse businesses procure contacts with California American Water through introductions to our procurement leaders, frontline operations, and engineering and functional leads. Second is working with our parent company, American Water, and their Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Leaders to ensure California American is supporting and engaged in diversity efforts including embedding our overall strategies and goals at the state level. Third is my Business Performance Team which includes reporting and analytics, conservation, and customer service. What drives me is the many different aspects of my roles and responsibilities — I love the variety. However, my passion is working with small businesses and seeing them grow, and educating our teams on the many differences that make us all unique and special while ensuring we bring diversity and equity to our workforce. Finally, I want to make a difference and leave a legacy for other African Americans and minorities.

What is your goal for making an impact in diverse communities across California?

My goal is to help small diverse business owners grow their business and revenue by partnering with us to solve both immediate and long-term operational, engineering, and functional needs. I aim to assist the company in its efforts to be a more diverse, inclusive, and belonging organization while providing minorities the same opportunities as non-minorities.

What’s some key advice that has helped you throughout your career?

Some key advice that has helped me throughout my career is from my very first mentor, Bob Perry, who said, “Plan your work and work your plan and your plan will work.” I have lived by this advice both personally and professionally. My mom also gave me advice many years ago: “You can do and be whatever you want to be in life.”

Learn more about the CalAsian Board of Directors here.

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